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Russia is fortifying its defenses in occupied Crimea to prepare for a potential Ukrainian advance, the Defense Ministry’s Military Media Center reported on July 8.
Fortifications have reportedly been erected in the northern, western, and eastern parts of the occupied peninsula. According to the center, Russia has also reinforced the region's isthmuses, a narrow piece of land connecting mainland Ukraine with the peninsula.
Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula in early 2014, and has been using it to launch missiles against Ukraine and as a logistic route to transfer equipment to the southern battlefield.
The U.K. Defense Ministry reported on June 21 that Russia reinforces positions in southern Ukraine, specifically with a nine-kilometer defense zone near the land bridge between Crimea and Kherson Oblast.
Meanwhile, Russian forces are also focusing on defending its warships and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov naval bases, Military Media Center reported.
Russian military facilities and infrastructure sites that could be used by Russian forces in Crimea have been targeted in recent months. Ukraine does not claim responsibility for these attacks.
Moscow began to build fortifications in Crimea and the occupied part of Kherson Oblast, preparing for possible Ukrainian advances in the south in mid-November last year, just after Ukrainian forces liberated Kherson.
Ukraine has set itself the goal of total liberation of the occupied territories, including Crimea.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on July 2, the Ukrainian Navy Day, that if Russian warships stay in the Black Sea, they will fear to get close to Crimea.